Former Bladen teacher pens first book of poetry

By: W. Curt Vincent - Bladen Journal

FRANKLIN — A former Bladen County teacher has taken the leap into the publishing world with her first book of poetry.

Merrilee Bordeaux, who spent 20 years teaching middle school language arts and social studies, recently released “A Song of Life and Other Poems” through St. Clair Publications in McMinnville, Tenn.

“My poetry book is dedicated to my oldest granddaughter, Lisa Walker,” said Bordeaux, who now lives in Franklin, where she was born and raised. “The lead poem, ‘A Song of Life,’ is about her.”

The book is divided into two sections: Fond Memories and Family. Some poems are whimsical, some are inspirational, and many are about home and the western North Carolina mountains. Some poems are light-hearted; others are not. Some poems deal with two dark issues – homelessness and child abuse. “The Forgotten Soul” had its origin in Asheville where Bordeaux noticed a pile of dirty clothes on a bench — that heap of clothing turned out to be a homeless man.

Each of the poems has a special place in Bordeaux’s heart, as does the publishing company she chose to use for her book.

“The publishing company, St. Clair Publications in McMinnville, Tennessee, is owned by my Franklin High School classmate of 1964, Stan St. Clair,” she said. “The cover design by graphic artist Kent Grey-Hesselbein brings my love of the Western North Carolina mountains to life.”

Of her poetry, Bordeaux said she’s always enjoys penning poems since the time she was a child. Her current writing “has some traditional poetry, but most poems are free verse form. Free verse isn’t a new form of poetry. One of my favorite free verse poems is Carl Sandburg’s poem, ‘The Fog.’ You can almost visualize the fog creeping in on little cat feet. Free verse poetry lets the poet paint a picture, give the reader a special feeling or emotion.”

Two of Bordeaux’s poems — “A Song of Life” and “Listen to the Earth” were recognized with Editor’s Choice Award honors by and have been published in the International Library of Poetry.

“A Song of Life and Other Poems” is now on sale at and as well as at Books Unlimited in Franklin and City Lights in Sylva for $10.50.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or

W. Curt Vincent

Bladen Journal